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Articles on Ecology

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Spotting plastic waste from space and counting the fish in the seas: here’s how AI can help protect the oceans

Humans are expert pattern-finders. But artificial intelligence tools are better at trawling through vast data sets to find anything from waste dumps to heat-tolerant corals.
Rainier winters make life more difficult for Arctic wildlife and the humans who rely on them. Scott Wallace/Getty Image

Arctic Report Card 2022: The Arctic is getting rainier and seasons are shifting, with broad disturbances for people, ecosystems and wildlife

The annual report is also a reminder that what happens in the Arctic affects the rest of the world.
Red knots stop to feed along the Delaware shore as they migrate from the high Arctic to South America. Gregory Breese, USFWS/Flickr

Protecting 30% of Earth’s surface for nature means thinking about connections near and far

Governments, scientists and conservation groups are working to protect 30% of Earth’s land and water for nature by 2030. Two scientists explain why scale matters for reaching that goal.
Scientists have used author Henry David Thoreau’s notes to inform studies of climate change in eastern Massachusetts. Tom Stohlman/Flickr

By fact-checking Thoreau’s observations at Walden Pond, we showed how old diaries and specimens can inform modern research

Journals, museum collections and other historical sources can provide valuable data for modern ecological studies. But just because a source is old doesn’t make it useful.

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